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Porsche Formula E Team heads to season-opener confidentPreview: Diriyah E-Prix, Rounds 1 and 2 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship
The TAG Heuer
André Lotterer teamed up with new
Martin Füchtner takes over the role of Technical Project Leader Formula E.
Extensive improvements have been made to the powertrain of the
Shanghai/Stuttgart. The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship enjoys a novel start to the new season: In Diriyah (Saudi Arabia), two night races will be contested on 26/27 February for the first time in the history of the innovative electric racing series. The TAG Heuer
With twelve teams and 24 drivers, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship boasts another strong line-up in season 7. Ten automobile manufacturers are represented – more than in any other international motor racing series.
A for the Diriyah E-Prix
Amiel Lindesay, Head of Operations Formula E
Waiting for the season to get underway was a real test of patience. Are you and your team excited to start in Diriyah?
“We can hardly wait to finally get racing again after the long break. The start of a new season is always exciting, especially for us. This time, we’re much better prepared and we’re also starting with higher expectations compared to last season. Because of the pandemic, the season was very short. For us as a rookie team, that proved to be a major handicap because we didn’t get the critical track experience due to the cancelled races. Now we’re all hoping for a full and, for us, successful 2021 season.”
How difficult has it been to maintain motivation within the team over the last months – and how important is a successful start to the season?
“That was quite a challenge. We’re a racing team and we want to race. The lockdown had a profound impact – despite all the virtual opportunities that we could utilise for the further development of the
What is different now compared to when you started Formula E a year ago, and what are your goals for the second season?
“Our rookie season was a rollercoaster. We simply lacked the consistency you need to be among the frontrunners at the end. But that’s pretty normal in the first year. Now we have to take the next step. Taking the experiences from our debut season, we can now focus on our track performance and on making our car faster. If we can achieve this, we’ll also achieve our goals: We want to win races and be world champions.”
You started your first Formula E season with
“Formula E is a really difficult championship. To be successful, everything has to come together. You have to qualify as far up the field as possible, get through the race without any problems and have a good strategy when it comes to energy management. And you also need a well-balanced car. The big challenge for us will be to be well prepared for every eventuality so that we can respond quickly if something doesn’t go according to plan. That’s the key to success. We grew together as a team with these challenges and we’ve taken major development steps compared to last season. But now we have to implement them, especially in critical situations.”
Has this also changed the goals for the season?
“Of all the teams, we’re facing the steepest learning curve. Expect a good performance. We learned a lot during our debut season. During our test drives, as well, we saw that our engineers did a great job in developing the
You suddenly had a lot of free time after the cancellation of the season-opener in Santiago de Chile. How did you use it?
“That was an unexpected change of plan, but I quickly adapted to the new situation. I improved my sports programme and added other disciplines: for instance, I took up kick boxing. And I also spent time in the simulator.”
For you, the break from racing was particularly long. Are you looking forward to the start of the season?
“I can’t wait. The break was extremely long for me. My last race was almost a year ago in Marrakesh. Of course, we tested in between and made good progress, but that doesn’t replace racing. Everyone in the team is eager to use what we learned from the tests in the race. I’m hoping for a successful start to the season in Diriyah and for the rest of the season to go as planned.”
You contest your first race for
“It’s definitely something special. After all,
Are night races particularly challenging?
“I really enjoy driving at night. The atmosphere is very special. Everything seems a lot faster. The track will be brightly lit. Still, as a driver, you have to really concentrate because you have a smaller field of vision and it’s harder to spot the reference points. At least we won’t be blinded by the sun.”
The Diriyah E-Prix is contested on a 2.494-kilometre street circuit featuring 21 corners, which runs past old fortifications and traditional houses made of clay. “It’s a real driver’s track, very demanding,” says André Lotterer, who is particularly pleased that there are not as many 90-degree bends and hairpins as there are on most other Formula E circuits. “In the first 14 corners you go only left, right, uphill, downhill, fast, slow. As a driver, you don’t have the time to check your energy use. Only after turn 14 can you look at the steering wheel.” And the main issues? “The difficulty is to set up your car so that it runs well in different situations. It’s also tricky to find a good rhythm. And the wind blows sand from the desert onto the track, which can make it very slippery.”
The Media Service
The first photos from Diriyah will be available on the
The Media Guide
As a supplement and expansion of its classic media guide, the TAG Heuer
With 16 partners, the TAG Heuer
Formula E is the world’s first fully-electric road racing series bringing thrilling motorsport to people living in major cities. As an accelerator for innovative and sustainable technologies of mobility, it promotes the worldwide acceptance of electric vehicles with the aim to counteract climate change. The format is compact: practice, qualifying and race all take place on one day. Each race is contested over 45 minutes plus one lap. Formula E, which features a team and driver world championship for the first time this year, has attracted more automobile manufacturers than any other racing series. This makes for interesting and hotly contested races. The TAG Heuer
Eight races make up the provisional calendar of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for the first half of 2021.
Race 1 – 26th February: Diriyah (Saudi Arabia)
Race 2 – 27th February: Diriyah (Saudi Arabia)
Race 3 – 10th April: Rome (Italy)
Race 4 – 24th April: Valencia (Spain)
Race 5 – 8th May: Monaco (Monaco)
Race 6 – 22nd May: Marrakesh (Morocco)
Race 7 – 5th June: Santiago de Chile (Chile)
Race 8 – 6th June: Santiago de Chile (Chile)
The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will announce the remaining 2021 race dates in spring.
* Subject to changes
Further information and pictures for journalists and media representatives can be found on the